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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Late Empire| ▸ |Zeno||View Options:  |  |  | 

Zeno, 18 January - 17 November 474 and August 476 - 11 April 491 A.D.

Zeno was an Isaurian chieftain who moved to Rome and married Emperor Leo I's daughter, Ariadne. Their son, Leo II, succeeded Leo I as emperor, and shortly after declared his father Augustus. An exceedingly unpopular emperor, Zeno spent his 17-year reign defending the empire not only against the barbarians but also against many rebellions. He died in 491 A.D after suffering an epileptic fit. Mediterranean 476 AD


|Zeno|, |Zeno,| |18| |January| |-| |17| |November| |474| |and| |August| |476| |-| |11| |April| |491| |A.D.|, |solidus|
Zeno the Isaurian, was originally named Tarasis Kodisa Rousombladadiotes. The Isaurians were a people who lived inland from the Mediterranean coast of Anatolia, in the core of the Taurus Mountains. They were looked upon as barbarians by the Romans, however, being Orthodox Christians rather than Arians, as the Goths and other Germanic tribes were, they were not formally barred from the throne. Zeno married Ariadne, daughter of Leo I and Verina. To make himself more acceptable to the Roman hierarchy and the population of Constantinople, Tarasis adopted the Greek name of Zeno and used it for the rest of his life.
SH26063. Gold solidus, RIC X 930 (pearl diadem, no jewel), DOCLR 629 var. (4th officina), Depeyrot 108/1, SRCV V 21514, Choice EF, bold strike with sharp dies and nice centering - very attractive coin!, weight 4.307 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 180o, 6th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, second reign; obverse D N ZENO PERP AVG, helmeted bust facing, pearl diademed, cuirassed, spear in right over shoulder, shield on left arm decorated with horseman riding down enemy; reverse VICTORIA AVGGG S (victory of the three emperors, 6th officina), Victory standing left, long jeweled cross in right, star right, CONOB in exergue; SOLD


|Zeno|, |Zeno,| |18| |January| |-| |17| |November| |474| |and| |August| |476| |-| |11| |April| |491| |A.D.|, |solidus|
Gold never tarnishes, however, ancient gold coins were never pure gold. There is always a small amount of silver in the gold and for reasons that only a chemist could explain, the small amount of silver sometimes tones slightly red. This coin is attractive red toned gold.
SH85084. Gold solidus, RIC X 929, DOCLR 633, Depeyrot 108/1, Tolstoi 16, SRCV V 21514, Ratto -, Choice about Uncirculated, well centered and struck, lustrous with red tone, weight 4.456 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 2nd reign, Aug 476 - 11 Apr 491, 5th issue; obverse D N ZENO PERP AVG, helmeted bust facing, pearl diademed, trefoil on front of crested helmet, cuirassed, spear in right over shoulder, shield on left arm decorated with horseman riding down and spearing enemy; reverse VICTORI-A AVGGG ∆ (victory of the three emperors, 4th officina), Victory standing left, long jeweled cross in right, star right, CONOB in exergue; SOLD


|Zeno|, |Zeno,| |18| |January| |-| |17| |November| |474| |and| |August| |476| |-| |11| |April| |491| |A.D.|, |solidus|
In 474, Zeno's oppressive rule resulted in a revolt which forced him to flee to Isauria. Verina, the widow of Leo I, claimed the Empire and installed her brother, Basiliscus, on the throne. The following year, Basiliscus was deposed and Zeno reclaimed the Empire. He didn't change and new rebellions were frequent. In 491 A.D., after a turbulent reign of seventeen years, he died. He was succeeded by Anastasius, who married his widow Ariadne.
SH90883. Gold solidus, RIC X 912 (R4), DOCLR 632 var., Depeyrot 108/1 var., SRCV V 21514 var. (only RIC X 912 has the cross), gVF, mint luster, flow lines, die wear, bumps, graffiti, scratches, weight 4.429 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 2nd reign, Aug 476 - 11 Apr 491 A.D.; obverse D N ZENO PERP AVG, helmeted bust facing, pearl diademed, cross on helmet, cuirassed, spear in right over shoulder, shield on left arm decorated with horseman riding down enemy; reverse VICTORIA AVGGG Θ (victory of the three emperors, 9th officina), Victory standing left, long jeweled cross in right, star right, CONOB in exergue; ex Edgar Owen; very rare; SOLD







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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

DNZENOPERPAG
DNZENOPERPAVG
DNZENOPERPFAV
DNZENOPERPFAVG
DNZENOPFAVG
INPZENOFELICISSIMOSENAVG


REFERENCES|

Carson, R., P. Hill & J. Kent. Late Roman Bronze Coinage. (London, 1960).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappes sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 8: Nepotian to Romulus Augustus, plus tesserae & cotorniates. (Paris, 1888).
Depeyrot, G. Les monnaies d'or de Constantin II Zenon (337-491). Moneta 5. (Wetteren, 1996).
Grierson, P. & M. Mays. Catalogue of Late Roman Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection. (Washington D.C., 1992).
Hahn, W. Moneta Imperii Romani-Byzantinii. (Vienna, 1989).
Kent, J. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Volume X, The Divided Empire and the Fall of the Western Parts, AD 395 - 491. (London, 1994).
King, C. & D. Sear. Roman Silver Coins, Volume V, Carausius to Romulus Augustus. (London, 1987).
Ranieri, E. La monetazione di Ravenna antica dal V all' VIII secolo: impero romano e bizantino, regno ostrogoto e langobardo. (Bologna, 2006).
Ratto, R. Monnaies Byzantines et d'autre Pays contemporaines l'poque byzantine. (Lugano, 1930).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. V. Diocletian (Reform) to Zeno. (Oxford, 1982).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. V: The Christian Empire...Constantine II to Zeno, AD 337 - 491. (London, 2014).
Tolstoi, I. Monnaies byzantines. (St. Petersburg, 1913 - 14).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Friday, February 28, 2020.
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Roman Coins of Zeno